Overview: Ohio Genealogical Society

Last year Doris and I visited the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) library in Mansfield, Ohio. We both were able to find new information on our ancestors, and were so pleased with the quality and quantity of the materials that we decided on the spot to join. We have not set a date, yet, but we both want to return to the OGS library. Having friends that live in the area is an extra bonus.

The OGS provides two quarterly publications for its membership. At first I was curious about this seeming redundancy. Once I perused each publication it became very evident that each served a very different purpose.
I’ll start with the older of the two, the Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly.
This publication is closer to the journals I am familiar with in the computer world. It contains data for the most part. The primary thrust of this journal is to publish abstracts of church, family, cemetery and court records. Society members that transcribe such records now have a place to share them. It occurs to me that the Pike Heritage Museum has in its collection a few business sales record ledgers, church attendance records and public school records. If the Pike County Genealogy Society, a chapter of the OGS, has not already availed itself of transcribing these resources, then perhaps I should. On days when no visitors show up at the museum, it would be a more useful activity than reading fiction.

The second publication is more like a magazine. The Ohio Genealogy News covers the day to day activities of the society. It also covers research topics that have a more general nature than simply publishing data abstracts. For example the Summer 2007 edition covered an interesting aspect of the War of 1812. In these modern times we tend to assume that women serving in front line positions in a new thing. It is not. And while I was aware that women served supporting roles throughout most of the military history of the United States, I did not realize that women specifically were recruited during the War of 1812 to provide laundry, medical and other services on the front lines. Additionally due to the nature of the War of 1812, many wives of the men stationed in forts saw active duty when those forts were under siege.

To date I have really enjoyed my membership in the Ohio Genealogical Society. There is an ongoing effort to build a new library and it appears as if it will be a reality very soon. I look forward to visiting it.

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